Unbelievable… title challenge derailed again.

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That is what my Spud chum text me… no gloating… not snarling… just that.


What a joke…

Where the hell do I start? How do I approach a match report after that… I’m virtually speechless (textless…).

Well firstly I think I can say with honesty that Harry Redknapp has clearly been having an affair with Lady Luck… she didn’t even give us a look in tonight. Let me assure you though… I wont be using that as an excuse.

Secondly, why oh why when we are cruising does Arsene insist on bringing on two of his weakest players?

Thirdly… where the hell were the experienced players telling the kids to shut up shop? Wenger spoke of naivety at the end of the game… but Gallas and Silvestre are two of the most experienced players in the Prem… where was the leadership? Why weren’t the kids told to take it up the other end and play keep ball by the corner flag or something along those lines.

I don’t think I’ve felt lower as a Gooner for a while. It’s not the result that has hit me for six (Or four)… it is the fact that here we are again… a few games in, we’ve not played anyone of merit and we are struggling. It’s really quite disappointing…

Individually there were some great performances out there, but overall as a team I felt we looked disjointed… the hole in the middle of the park next to Cesc couldn’t be clearer. Cesc isn’t playing well and that can almost solely be put down to the fact that Arsene has made a huge mistake by not replacing Flamini. Denilson played ok tonight… but Cesc doesn’t look comfortable next to him does he? He is a shadow of the player we saw last year and a shadow of the player we saw in the summer.

The centre of defence is a hard one to judge. The two french centre backs looked solid for the most part. The fact that they both nicked two goal showed they were both up for it. However, defending your centre backs performances after they leaked 4 goals is tough. The goals were pretty flukey… but after Almunia spilt the Huddlestone (?) shot… shouldn’t someone be following up? If Jermaine Jenas is running with the ball, shouldn’t someone be preventing a shot at all costs… becuase I am pretty sure everyone is aware that Penas can do that from 20 yards.

Almunia really let himself down tonight. I am a big fan of Almunia, but I can’t defend his erratic display tonight. David Bentley launched a speculative shot from 40 yards for Spurs first… for me Al could have stepped back onto his line and caught it… but instead he went for the spectacular and tipped it into his net. From that point on his head went. For the Spuds second he parried weakly and allowed Bent in and for the other two goals… well… he didn’t have much chance. I called him world class last week… and the sign of whether that is true is how he bounces back from this game. I wont write him off, but he needs to up it and not allow himself to go the way of Lehmann.

For Spurs third, Clichy made a shocking error when he slipped over allowing Penas to take control of the ball, run for 30 yards unchallenged only to bury the ball in the top corner. For their fourth, some dirty spud picked up the ball, spanked it at the post and the rebound was instinctively finished by Lennon.

There were positives tonight. Our attacking display was pretty spot on… ok, so we missed a few chances, but we did score 4 goals. Silvestre nipped in near post for our first from a corner… Gallas connected with an RvP freekick for our second… Adebayor finished off Nasri’s chip for our third… RvP buried our 4th. You can’t argue with 4 goals really. I know people will say we should have finished off all of our chances, but that is just being unrealistic. 2 goals up with 6 minutes to play normally signals game over.

It certainly looked like it was over, then Wenger started tinkering. He brought on Eboue. When he did this I said to my neighbour that it was almost like Wenger was trying to sneak him on just so he could prove a point…. I mean honestly… what was he going to add to the right that a 19 year old Theo couldn’t? Then he subbed RvP for Diaby… then finally he threw on Alex song for Nasri. I don’t understand how those subs were supposed to do anything other than invite Spurs on? They were pathetic subs in my eyes… Who would you rather have seen, Song and Eboue or Ramsey and Wilshere? I know who would have done a better job and I don’t think I am saying that with the benefit of hindsight… I think I am saying that with the benefit of logic.

It was a monumental cock up on Wenger’s part and he has to shoulder the blame for the outcome.

The team is inexperienced and top heavy with averageness. I don’t care how young they are (naivety… per-fucking-lease), I don’t care how good they could be and I don’t care about lady luck . I want to see my team perform like lions and I want to see my team have the intelligence to hold on for 6 minutes when they are 2 up.

The crowd did their part tonight… they were electric… sadly they were let down by the manager and the team. It’s just not good enough and I a flummoxed as to what the answer is… how do you combat a manager who believes in average players at the expense of winning things? How do you teach a team to defend? How do you make young players grow up without shedding points?

I’ll let you guys discuss that in the comments…

P.S. Well played to the stewards tonight… they were obviously told to let people stand tonight and the difference told… the atmosphere was spot on.

I’d also like the thank the hundreds of Grovers who added their thoughts to yesterdays post. I was worried I might come back to a few nasty comments… but you proved again that you are the best bloggers on the net by keeping it friendly and making Le Grove the best place to talk Arsenal!


Arsenal are a club with heart / Cesc say spuds couldn’t beat our girls!

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Ok to start on a very positive note and to issue credit, where credit is due, a great friend of mine who is a season ticket holder and an Arsenal nut, told me a story that warmed the very cockles of my red and white heart.

His son who is in his mid 20′s was playing for his local team, he skinned a defender and received an Eduardo style break and dislocation, unfortunately for this young man, he may not get his game back, much like Eduardo he’s in the lap of the gods.

For anonymity’s sake we’ll call this Gooner ‘Tiny Tim’ after his dad. My mate told the powers that be, that his son had a similar break to Eduardo’s and Arsenal told Eduardo, who then wrote a get well letter to Tiny Tim, so a big well done to Ken Friar and his team, I thought that showed why Arsenal are unlike other clubs, they care about their fans as well. It was a classy thing to do. Get well soon Tiny, we’re all rooting for you.

Tim will also be at the game tonight as arrangements are being made to get him there, so if the team needed any more encouragement, they’ve got it now!

Ade’s warning the boys they need to focus and show no mercy, clinical finishing and the spirit of Fenerbahce and West Ham are called for, go get them gooners.

The BBC said that Cesc said the spuds couldn’t beat our ladies, I can’t find where he said it, but Cesc, I think the chavs would struggle to beat our ladies, so go and show them how it’s done.

Harry Redknapp seems to have a memory problem, last year he was a lifelong gooner, today he’s a lifelong Spud, it just goes to show the lengths that some people will go to please a few hundred spurs fans, shame on you Dirty Harry.

I’m really looking forward to tonight but as always I’m very nervous when it comes to playing the spuds, we need to put them to the sword and shut Bentley up, I expect them to play with a lone striker and stifle the midfield, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wenger sending out the Fenerbahce set up, though I would prefer him to play Ade, Robin, Theo, Nasri, Nikki and Vela up front and win 17 nil, sadly I don’t think he’ll be taking my advice though!

Have a great night tonight Grovers if big Tone does us a favour, we’ll be 1 point behind and I think Pompey have a far better team than the spuds.

4-1 the Arsenal and let’s sing so loud we can’t hear the knuckle draggers from Shite hart lane all night.


Arsenal’s problem? We need more Songs!

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I’ll bet you didn’t expect me to be saying that did you? Has Alexandre Song got brothers? No chance, let me explain.

Partrick Vieira was in the Sun yesterday saying that he loves the Arsenal, and one of the reasons was listening to 50,000 fans singing ‘Vieira whoooooh, Vieira whoooooooh, he comes from Senegal, he plays for Arsenal, Vieira whoooooooooh’ you get the drift.

I, having read the said article started humming it, as I’m sure you are doing right now, it’s pretty infectious and that’s what I think the problem at Arsenal is, we have no real player songs to sing and they used to get the whole stadium going, remember ‘Bergkamp wonderland’ ‘Thierry Henry, Thierry Henry’ ‘Super, super bob’ ‘We love you Freddie cos you’ve got read hair’ and ‘Where’s your captain gone’ they were all crackers.

I can only think of two right now, ‘We got Cesc Fabregas’ and ‘Adebayor give him the ball and he will score’

Hardly inspiring is it? Perhaps our songwriters ought to get some new songs for our new players and that will get the stadium singing, I heard ‘One Arsene Wenger’ belting out at West Ham, but I think that was more as a reaction to his comments.

I can remember winning the FA Cup against the Chavs and the crowd stayed for an hour after singing ‘We love you Freddie’ I could barely speak that evening, well that may have been the alcohol, but we were going for it!

Not a great deal of news out there, but great to hear Robin and Theo bigging themselves up for the kicking teams, I expect the Spuds to run around like headless chickens tomorrow but they won’t have their centre halfs as they’re suspended, they will have King though, but I remember the last time we played the spuds and their new managers first game was us at Old Trafford, that day that man was Hoddle and their talisman centre back was Sol Campbell, a parlour tackle sorted him out and we stuffed them 2-1 to be honest it should have been 10.

I flew to Manchester on a Jumbo jet that day, imagine that, a jumbo jet, what a great day, I see tomorrow’s game like that and I think we’ll wallop them, you don’t become a good team overnight, and they are not a good team.

Pedro asked me to tell you we have two club level tickets for the Spurs game so the first to email in will be put you in touch with the ticket holder.

Have a great day today Grovers, tomorrows the big one!